Reduction mechanism of hexavalent chromium by functional groups of undissolved humic acid and humin fractions of typical black soil from Northeast China
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Soil organic matters (SOM) have a great retention effect on Cr(VI) migration in subsurface environment, which act as the main electron donors for Cr(VI) reduction; however, Cr(VI) reduction mechanism by different SOM fractions is still unclear, such as undissolved humic acid (HA) and humin (HM). In this study, HA and HM fractions extracted from typical black soil from Northeast China were used to investigate the reaction mechanism between humus functional groups and Cr(VI). According to the results, phenol and hydroxyl were determined as the main electron donors for Cr(VI) reduction by HA and HM instead of carboxyl and carbonyl, which were more likely involved in Cr complexation. Furthermore, Cr(VI) reduction was more dependent on aromatic carbon, rather than aliphatic carbon, and functional groups on the particle surfaces of HA and HM were much more active for Cr(VI) reduction than their interior part. Additionally, HM was found to have a relatively low Cr(VI) reduction capability compared with HA resulting from its high content of cellulose structures that are quite resistant to Cr(VI) oxidation. These results suggest that in the soil environment, undissolved HA tends to play a much more important role than HM in Cr(VI) reduction and retention in the condition that their mass contents are comparable.
KeywordsHumic acid Humin Functional groups Hexavalent chromium Reduction
This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 41672239) and China Geological Survey (1212011121173).
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